Elizabeth is 28 today and it made my day to see a message left for her by a friend she has known since nursery school. I telephoned to pass this on to her. Tonight she is out with her sister and friend at an activity centre called “Top Golf”. I understand they are taking her out for a meal too. I have appointed someone to look at her diet regularly as unfortunately the NHS only provide 1 visit with a nutritionist and I am worried she has diabetes as I have read in the files some disturbing things and have had private tests done myself.
It is peaceful in the house so now I have a chance to read my new book called Emotional Health by Dr Bob Johnson.
I thoroughly agree with Dr Johnson emotions are the single most vital ingredient in all human affairs. I can relate to this book as I have observed how Elizabeth refuses to emphasis on certain issues that she suddenly and out of the blue will mention. She will end her conversation by saying “not going into it” I feel when the time is right she say more but I will not pressurise her on this. Since coming home she is becoming more open as it is not an oppressive environment like the institutions she has been sent to. Training of professionals from what I can see appears to discount emotions and this shows where things are wrong. Emotional health means us controlling them rather than the other way around – I would agree with this. The trouble is not just Elizabeth but other former patients who I am in touch with complain that their feelings are ignored. This is quite upsetting to patients when they are treated like they are invisible. Training is supervised by institutions where discussion of emotion is taboo. “Why wont they listen, Mum”. I have come across this myself and total lack of understanding on their part. On my blog I feature something written by a former patient who describes psychiatrists like robots and I would agree. This book gives a great understanding on the subject of emotions. A decent psychiatrist should place themselves in the position of the person and understand the importance of truth and gaining trust and consent. If you do not trust someone that person is not going to share their emotions and Elizabeth is often referred to as being “guarded. Coercion is something often used in psychiatry but when dealing with matters of the mind there is the question of whether consent has been sought and obtained and I doubt this in Elizabeth’s case. I see Trust having been betrayed as Elizabeth signed an Advanced Declaration stating she did not wish to take Clozapine whilst at the Bethlem. Truth was not evident as Elizabeth was so drugged up she did not even know she was on Clozapine and so the team had therefore coerced her into having this chemical whilst weakened on a maximum dosage of Olanzapine plus other drugs on top. I reckon this was when they introduced a drug with the letter ‘M’ . (Metformine) This is when I got to find out the truth – another patient urged Elizabeth to find out saying it was important she knew what they were giving her and this is when Elizabeth gave consent for me to know as well and shortly after this I was banned from visiting completely. Trust has therefore been betrayed and in its place deceit and coercion. This is how I view mainstream psychiatry. Truth Trust and Consent are vital to gaining Emotional health – without them, the mind becomes a battleground of flailing emotions. “If there is insufficient truth, trust and consent available the victim of the irrational emotion will strenuously decline to examine the cause of the irrationality which thereafter takes on a life of its own”
Frozen terror is applicable in Elizabeth’s case. “Frozen terror underlies all serious emotional disorders.” Something traumatic happens to that person that can go back years but memories remain buried that person. “To remedy fear rational or irrational is to find where it is coming from and remove the danger it portends.
Dr Johnson in this wonderful book explores emotions rational/irrational, examples of how he has dealt with certain situations and gained the respect of those considered by the professionals as being “untreatable”. Well Elizabeth is “treatment resistant” however I know for a fact she responded well to Dr Johnson.
Dr Johnson talks about ECT which apparently Elizabeth has been offered. To think that I as a mother once thought this was better than drugs – how wrong I was but I have since become knowledgeable – I was horrified to hear Elizabeth was offered this barbaric treatment and if you object under a section, your objections are overruled and you can be given this treatment under a section of the Mental Health Act. Elizabeth thinks she refused this but one day I turned up at the Bethlem and her face was covered in bruises and to this day I am left wondering what happened to her. The lead nurse said “I am happy with this” – the ward manager claimed not to have noticed anything. There have been cases of lasting mental impairment resulting from ECT such as inability to read or tell the time and I spoke to someone once who told me that a huge chunk of memory had gone and she found this extremely distressing. ECT induces convulsions, amnesia or memory loss.
Yes I agree with Dr Johnson that prison is not the answer for many as how is this going to help someone who is themselves a victim of terrible abuse which in some cases goes back to childhood.
What a shame not everyone appreciates the good work done by Dr Johnson and in testimony to this there are letters – why should something successful be closed like the Special Unit at Parkhurst Prison perhaps ifother psychiatrists took his approach there would not be wards overflowing and patients would be treated like human beings which is not the case at present.
Whilst Dr Johnson worked in the Special Unit at Parkhurst Prison for exceptionally dangerous and disturbed prisoners too violent for Broadmoor he reduced the level of violence by 92%, the consumption of tranquillisers by 95%. No alarm bells were ringing for 3 years. His work has been widely reported and formed the basis of a documentary investigation by Panorama on BBC1on 3 March 1997.
Dr Johnson was the independent Doctor for the Tribunal who has given the ONLY accurate report and correct diagnosis which the team choose to ignore. With the vast experience of Dr Johnson and the very fact that he managed to earn the respect of my daughter who according to the team is chronic treatment resistant I can honestly say I could not have chosen better for an expert witness and this shows what is lacking today in terms of decent care and understanding for those who have mental health conditions.
Perhaps the team would like to borrow this book which could benefit them all and I would like an honest explanation from them as to why Elizabeth was denied the report by Dr Johnson and why they stick with a label none of them have proven to me scientifically. I would welcome open and honest responses by the team directly on Twitter rather than the things written in the files which is another thing I am reading right now. I shall be featuring extracts from all my new books soon which could change psychiatry for the better in my opinion but that is wishful thinking. Psychiatry is mainly about drugging and the care is centred around “business”. Huge amounts of money are being spent not on care as I can see but Elizabeth is now home and her care in a care home would have cost £60000 a year so how many are on long term sections in untherapeutic environments who are not of risk to self or others – I know of quite a few cases. Elizabeth does not need to be on a CTO either which is a further saving of taxpayer’s money.
Elizabeth is still out with her sister and now I am going to finish this wonderful book which I would recommend to you all.
Elizabeth may wish to write the next blog herself and I am going to take her with me to meet with other “survivors” at the weekend as I have not been around to celebrate her Birthday today and so will do this at the weekend.